Meet FORT: the networking group launched for young people working in agricultural industries

Max Nell has co-founded Face Of Rural Tomorrow, a networking group for young people working in agricultural industries.

NOTICING a distinct lack of networking opportunities for young people in agriculture, a group of emerging industry professionals have launched Face Of Rural Tomorrow (FORT), a platform they believe can improve the experience of coming up through our rural industries.

Launching online at the beginning of August, FORT provides opportunities for those interested in a career in agriculture to connect to likeminded young people and build vital industry connections.

Max Nell, a Rural Associate with Ray White Rural Corporate, co-founded FORT alongside colleagues Sonya Grosso, Sophie Chant and Madeline Swan.

Max, 22, said building connections was essential when progressing a career in agriculture.

“The aim for FORT is for it to be a networking group for everyone in rural agency, livestock sales and agriculturally based industries.

“It was sort of an avenue that we didn’t see existing for young people across our industries.”

Alongside their online presence, FORT plans to hold several major networking events a year.

“When I was coming through there wasn’t much in the way of networking groups, so we thought it would be beneficial to get young industry professionals together for a few events a year,” Max said.

“Hopefully, when people leave those events, they can walk away with a few more connections in their industry, and with skills that can help them out in their workplace.”

Details on upcoming events across the country will be released soon, with FORT planning for a debut event coinciding with the Young Livestock Auctioneers competition at the Royal Easter Show.

Each week, FORT profiles a young person excelling in their industry on their Facebook page.

“I think there aren’t enough platforms out there that are highlighting the young people coming up in the industry and the great work they are doing.

“We want to show off the people coming through the ranks in agriculture, and the different avenues available to young people with an eye on a future in the industry,” Max said.

FORT’s co-founders are hopeful the group will attract young people from all sectors of agriculture.

“It is very inclusive, we want all aspects of agriculture to come and be involved and represented,” Max said.

“You never know who you can meet, so we think it is a great opportunity for young people across the industry.”

Growing up on a cattle farm outside Blayney in the NSW Central West, and now undertaking a cadetship with Ray White Rural, Max understands the opportunities and challenges presented to a young person entering the industry.

“There are so many things to learn within agriculture, it is so broad.

“It would be good to get more young people involved in agriculture, as I believe it is the future.

“People who are interested in agriculture, or are in agriculture and are looking to take on different roles, this is something they can pursue through FORT,” Max said.

To get involved, to learn more or to nominate a young industry professional to be profiled by FORT, head to the FORT – Face Of Rural Tomorrow Facebook page.

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